Foreign Language Anxiety in Virtual Classrooms during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Turkey

Authors

  • Mohammadreza Valizadeh Department of Translation and Interpretation (English), Faculty of Humanities, Cappadocia University, Cappadocia, Turkey

Keywords:

Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA), English as a foreign language (EFL), virtual/online classes

Abstract

This mixed-methods study investigated Foreign Language Anxiety in virtual English as Foreign Language (EFL) classrooms during the Covid-19 pandemic in Turkey. The Turkish EFL university learners’ anxious feelings in traditional and virtual classrooms were compared. Then, the reasons for their feelings were explored. Data were gathered from 212 online learners via a questionnaire including both open-ended and close-ended questions. A large number of the students felt less stressed in a face-to-face classroom. Comparing the activities, a larger number of the respondents felt less stressed to participate in face-to-face classroom language activities than in online classroom activities. Over half of the respondents felt anxious thinking that others might see their home settings or hear the voices in their homes, recorded for every activity, physical and mental health due to long-time use of technology. The online classroom setting made a large number of the participants feel more suffocated and isolated. The existence of live interactions in face-to-face environments were mentioned as an effective factor. The other reasons included individual differences and preferences, lack of technological knowledge, and the technological infrastructure problem. In terms of the benefits of the online classes, several learners felt comfortable with answering questions while others are not looking at them, and that others do not see their physical appearance. The direct presence of eye contact with the teachers in face-to-face classrooms made several students more nervous. Some also referred to the Covid-19 pandemic and that it is risky for their health to be in face-to-face classrooms.      

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Published

2021-06-22